The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has mandated ‘e-proceeding’ for all income-tax scrutiny in 2018-19.
It has also specified seven situations where e-proceeding will not be mandatory this year. These include search cases, cases where returns were filed in paper mode and the assessee doesn’t have an e-filing account, and geographical areas with limited bandwith.
‘E-proceeding’ refers to the communication of data and documents between the Income-Tax Department and assessees through electronic mode, and where the assessments are done electronically.
In 2015, the CBDT had undertaken — on a voluntary basis — a pilot project of email-based assessment in five metros. This was extended to two more in 2016.
With the latest CBDT instruction, assessees will be required to produce their response/evidence to any notice issued by the Assessing Officer electronically, through their accounts on the e-filing portal.
The CBDT has also listed down four situations where personal hearing/attendance may take place, despite assessment proceedings being carried out electronically.
In another separate instruction to its field formations, the CBDT has come up with guidelines for manual selection of returns for ‘complete scrutiny’ in 2018-19. The guidelines specify six parameters for manual selection.
Source: The Hindu Business Line